Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass women’s soccer loses to Providence after sluggish first half

(Katherine Mayo/ Daily Collegian)
(Katherine Mayo/ Daily Collegian)

In what was the team’s second straight game in Providence, the Massachusetts women’s soccer team took the pitch against a strong Providence Friars team with hopes of finishing its trip on a high note.

However, a sluggish start would key what would be a long 90 minutes for the Minutewomen as UMass (2-4-1) went on to lose 3-0 Sunday night.

The Friars (6-3-1) came out firing on all cylinders on their home turf and would amass a whopping 13-2 shot advantage in the first 45 minutes of play.

Two of those first half scoring chances were converted by Providence forward Rachel Ugolik to give her team a 2-0 lead that seemingly put the game out of reach. Ugolik was named Big East offensive player of the week Monday.

“Providence came out with a tremendous amount of energy,” Minutewomen coach Ed Matz said.  “They came out, they were running at us…and we gave a lot of our opportunities away to Providence just with our turnovers, we were turning the ball over a lot and not recovering well.”

Coming off a grueling double overtime game Thursday against Brown, Matz admitted that UMass was not playing its best during the first 45 minutes.

“The tie on Thursday took a lot out of us physically, a lot of our key players played a lot of minutes and we came out on Sunday really sluggish and lethargic in the first half,” Matz said. “Unfortunately, playing at their facility with their home crowd and that environment put us in a hole after the first 45 today, we did not play a good half and things kind of snowballed from there.”

Although the Friars netted  their third goal during the second half, the Minutewomen matched the shot output of Providence (7-7), and put up a much more contested 45 minutes of play with the game already out of reach.

According to Matz, fatigue from the trip to Rhode Island in its entirety could have been a factor in UMass’ inconsistent play.

“I don’t know if they were fatigued after the road trip, having two road games in a row, but it just wasn’t a good way to start the game, but we corrected some of those things in the second half and then had a much better second half,” he said.

UMass plays Brown to draw

At the onset of that road trip, the Minutewomen engaged in a tightly contested double overtime battle against Brown, in which both teams ultimately failed to put one in the back of the net in a 0-0 tie Thursday night.

On the road facing a tough non-conference opponent, UMass matched nearly every offensive category and held the advantage for shots on net and did not fold defensively under pressure. That level of intensity was certainly satisfying for the players and coaches, however the ultimate outcome was not.

“The team mentally really wanted to win that match and they were really not happy with the tie even though Brown is a good team.”  Matz said.

Although the statistics at the conclusion of the game were essentially in a dead heat, prior to overtime the Minutewomen held a clear advantage that showed them to be the aggressor in the first 90 minutes.

“We controlled the regulation play,” Matz said. “We had the advantage in all the stats in regulation and that’s where we ended up just getting fatigued a bit in overtime and that’s where the game evened out a little bit.”

With only one goal now to their name over the last three games, converting chances has become an issue that needs to be addressed by the coaching staff.

“We have to make sure our kids have the confidence to keep shooting and looking for shots,” Matz said. “When you’re not scoring, some of our players are turning away the opportunity to shoot and are trying to make that extra pass instead so we have to make sure they have the confidence to shoot especially with (Atlantic 10 play) approaching.”

UMass will  look to make adjustments over the 11-day break it has between games. Next up on the schedule is the Minutewomen’s conference opener against  La Salle Sept. 29.

Christopher Marino can be reached at [email protected].

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